The month of May has seen significant changes on the battlefield in Syria, with the rebel forces abandoning several areas that were under their possession for many years.
In particular, the rebel forces agreed to surrender their positions in northern Homs and southern Hama after lengthy negotiations with the Syrian and Russian military police in the area.
The rebels were fully transported from this large pocket in northern Homs to the Idlib Govrnorate, marking the end of their reign over the southern bank of the Orontes River.
The loss of northern Homs would succeed the rebel surrender of the eastern Qalamoun region, which was also the site of brief Syrian military operation to seize the town of Jayroud from the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
Once the eastern Qalamoun was secured and the last rebels evacuated to northern Syria, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) began their long-awaited operation to retake the southern suburbs of Damascus.
This operation would last for much of the month and cost the Syrian military several military personnel, as they faced a determined Islamic State (ISIS) force inside the southern suburbs of Damascus.
However, like their other operations, the Syrian Army would eventually impose full control over southern Damascus, following the Islamic State’s agreement to leave Hajar Al-Aswad and Yarmouk Camp for the vast Badiya area in eastern Syria.
Meanwhile, along the Iraqi border, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) resumed their field operations in the eastern countryside of the Deir Ezzor Governorate after a short hiatus to fight the Turkish-backed rebels in the Afrin region.
The Syrian Democratic Forces were able to retake several towns from the Islamic State terrorists in eastern Deir Ezzor, while also cutting off the Islamic State’s last supply line from Iraq to their positions along the eastern bank of the Euphrates River.